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Tuesday, May 17, 2011

What the Agents/Editor Want to See

In case you missed last night's WriteOnCon Live Chat with agents Michelle Andelman (Regal Literary) and Joanna Stampfel-Volpe (FinePrint Literary, and editor Molly O'Neill (Associate Editor for an imprint of HarperCollins Children's Books), here are a few yummy goodies to munch on:


ON WISH LISTS:

Michelle~ Would love more magical realism, psychologically twisted thrillers, and dark, juicy relationship stories.

Joanna~ Is looking for a juicy YA gothic, horror, or a great thriller.

Molly~ Wants to see more humor and wit. As she cleverly put it, "Not EVERY moment of being a teen/tween is angsty!"

ON QUERIES:

Both agents agreed that humor isn't something they see much of in queries, and it would be refreshing to see more.

ON FIRST CHAPTERS/SCENES:

Michelle~ "A first chapter that isn't all prologue and scene-setting and build, but drops me in the middle of emotion and/or action...love! "

Joanna~ "I love to see something unexpected and fresh in any genre in a first scene. And I am really tired of seeing stories that start TOO much in the action--to the point where I don't even care about the character yet."

Molly~ "A lot of people seem to think starting with some big action is essential. Personally, I'm more intrigued if I'm seeing an interesting motivation behind the action."

*If you'd like to read the entire transcript, click HERE*

Up Friday...I think I'm going to have more fun with the J. Peterman Catalog (for those of you who thought he was only a character on Seinfeld, there's a real company and they have a number of dandy descriptions for their clothing/other items).

30 comments:

  1. I missed it last night. Thanks for the recap.

    Yay, my current WIP has lots of humor (but it isn't a humor book). There's still teen angst, but there's humor too. :D

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  2. Jo is an awesome agent to work with. I cannot recommend her highly enough!

    Shelley

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  3. Thanks for the tidbits! Off to check out the whole transcript.

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  4. Thanks for the recap. I totally missed the chat.

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  5. My roommate's birthday was last night, so I missed this. Thanks for the review of what I missed!

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  6. The chat was great. I was a little disheartened to hear that they've all had their fill of paranormal and dystopian. I'd love to know what the heck magical realism IS. My CPs and I had a good laugh over that last night as we researched MR books on goodreads and found almost all the resulting books in that category were books that we would have classified as paranormal. LOL

    Ultimately, it's got to be a great story, regardless of the genre.

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  7. ohman. i really need to work on the humor! but! my current wip would fit 2 out of 3 here! whoo hoo! back to work vic!
    *cracks whip*
    ow.

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  8. Darn, I missed that. Thanks for this! You're awesome, Jess!

    -Vicki

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  9. Oh drat! I missed it! I always seem to miss these! :(

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  10. I can't believe I missed last night! (Just tattoo a giant "L" on my forhead. Thanks for the recap, though. Good info!

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  11. Thank you for highlighting yet another WriteOn event that I have missed! The agent comments actually inspired a blog post idea on action vs. character action. And hey, did you know that your funny Monte Python post got mentioned on the Adventure in Children's Publishing blog? Wooo hoooo!

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  12. I was there!! It was a great chat - I like how you recapped it here. Thanks! It's always great to hear what industry professionals have to say! (and I've got a magical realism wip - yay!!!) :)

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  13. And if Jeanmarie clicks back to this - per Good Reads, "Magical realism is when magical elements or illogical scenarios appear in an otherwise realistic or even "normal" setting. The types of books that use the most of this theme are fantasy, supernatural,and literary books."

    Book examples they gave: The Time Traveler's Wife, Chocolat, The Alchemist, A Wrinkle in Time...to name a few. :)

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  14. Oh, I missed this chat! Thanks so much for the run down. I'll have to go check out the transcript. And btw, I did think the catalog was a Seinfeld thing. Doh!

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  15. Love your transcripts/summaries! Thanks :)

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  16. I did miss it, so thanks so much for posting here! Can't wait to read the transcripts!

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  17. Thanks for the info. These descriptions have me chomping at the bit to finish polishing my manuscript!

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  18. Ah, this was a good chat. I caught part of it and kind of lurked for a while. Thanks for posting the highlights!!

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  19. Thanks for sharing it with those of us who missed it!

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  20. Thanks for the update, Jess. I'm really feeling a pull toward humor, and it's good to hear that agents are looking for it.

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  21. Thanks for the update! Exciting to hear that I don't need to start with that train-wreck/explosion/zombie attack/dog fight. *backspacebackspacebackspace*

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  22. I missed it so thanks bunches for the quotes and link!

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  23. thanks! i missed it! okay, so LESS action at the beginning. MORE character. i sense another rewrite coming on.... ;0) christy

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  24. Thanks for this highlight Jess. I have yet to be able to attend any of these.
    It's interesting how Michele and Joanna are opposites.
    I guess sometimes it's just a matter of putting your story in the right hands at the right time. :)

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  25. Award time!
    http://thefarseas.blogspot.com/2011/05/some-awards.html

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  26. I think writing good comedy can be so much harder than writing good drama. Some day I'll learn how to do it! I am determined!

    Thanks for the highlights. :)

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  27. I love these highlights! Thanks so much Jess. I missed the chat because we had company over...and then I took a computer break for the rest of the week. I'll have to go read the whole thing now :)

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  28. Ah. thanks for the update. I missed the chat!

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